South America presents travelers with unforgettable culinary experiences. Whether you favor sit-down dinners or on-the-go treats from street vendors, it’s a safe bet that no matter which country you visit, you’ll find something to delight your taste buds. These 10 dishes are some of the most popular—and delicious—ones to try throughout the continent. Are you ready to pack your bags yet?
1. Ceviche (Peru)
This popular seafood dish got its start in Peru but has become widespread throughout the coastal of both South and Central America. Fresh, raw seafood (usually some regions sort of white fish) is cured in citrus juice (lemon, lime, or Seville orange), spiked with some heat from chili peppers, and garnished with onion and cilantro. If you love sashimi, you’ll flip for this delicacy.
2. Arepas (Venezuela)
This flatbread sandwich made from ground maize dough or cooked flour can be filled with just about anything, from cheese to meat to eggs. Depending on where you go, the number of arepa varieties on a single menu can go into the double digits! The heartier options are sometimes eaten as a main-course, while smaller or less complex arepas make for perfect snacks.
3. Empanadas (Argentina)
This crispy, half-moon shaped pastry has a hot, savory filling of cheese, meat, or vegetables. In Argentina, every province has its own signature flavor. One is a snack, but two or three can make a meal.